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Oxford and Warwick universities- another example of bringing out the worst in so many areas

(31 Posts)
MawBe Sun 22-Aug-21 09:45:31

Lockdown may have brought out the best in many of us - Zoom Christmas, neighbourhood support schemes for the elderly, Captain Tom, clapping for the NHS drinks on the drive, “gin by the bins” and not seeing your family in person for months.
But the other side - the profiteering and dodgy dealing seems to raising its ugly head, like Black Marketeering did in WWII.
Oxford and Warwick universities , it has emerged are renting out lecture halls for corporate events despite holding students’ lectures online.
Multiple conference rooms and lecture halls are being advertised for rent at Oxford despite the university saying it is yet to make a final decision on whether returning students will be taught entirely in person.
The rooms are advertised on the university’s website as available to corporate clients during the academic year, in addition to holidays.
Surely If the university authorities believe their campuses are safe enough for big corporate events, then they should be safe enough for students.. Universities should be open for business – the business of educating students, not just for corporate clients.
If you can’t have students, you can’t have corporate events.

Galaxy Sun 22-Aug-21 09:50:37

The way students have been treated in the last two years has been appalling.

Callistemon Sun 22-Aug-21 10:20:23

Well, my jaw dropped. Speechless!
?

BigBertha1 Sun 22-Aug-21 10:25:06

I agree MawB that's appalling.

Alegrias1 Sun 22-Aug-21 10:27:59

So you might have a couple of hundred delegates turning up for a day's meeting where everyone has to show LFT or be double jabbed to get in, or you might have tens or thousands of people turning up in a city/town, partying till dawn night after night and mixing with the locals for months on end.

The Telegraph is scraping the bottom of the barrel, I think.

Alegrias1 Sun 22-Aug-21 10:28:39

tens of thousands

Casdon Sun 22-Aug-21 10:31:25

All universities rent out rooms for corporate events whether the students are in or not, it’s part of their funding strategies. I’m sure if you checked, all the other universities are doing the same.

MerylStreep Sun 22-Aug-21 10:32:29

I’m at that stage now when I wonder, what, if anything will shock or surprise me anymore. ?

Blossoming Sun 22-Aug-21 10:47:40

Look on any university’s website and you’ll probably find they’re all doing the same. Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan and UCLan are still renting out space, they do it whether students are there or not and have been doing it for years.

Callistemon Sun 22-Aug-21 10:52:45

Casdon

All universities rent out rooms for corporate events whether the students are in or not, it’s part of their funding strategies. I’m sure if you checked, all the other universities are doing the same.

We know that but surely the priority during term time should be getting students back and attending lectures.

Callistemon Sun 22-Aug-21 10:53:56

The rooms are advertised on the university’s website as available to corporate clients during the academic year, in addition to holidays.

That is the relevant point.

tippytipsy Sun 22-Aug-21 10:56:12

While I feel very sorry for the way in which students have been treated, in this case the university is renting out the building and the facilities, not any staff. Blossoming is right it has always happened and universities have to put their assets to good use in the barren months.
The hirer is responsible for pretty much everything.

PaperMonster Sun 22-Aug-21 11:03:37

The college I worked for hired out its facilities to local emergency services during both lockdowns. A good way of making money for them which hopefully has gone some way to reducing the number of redundancies it made this year.

Having said that, I believe Uni students should be in just as FE students, and some HE students are.

MawBe Sun 22-Aug-21 11:04:34

Blossoming

Look on any university’s website and you’ll probably find they’re all doing the same. Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan and UCLan are still renting out space, they do it whether students are there or not and have been doing it for years.

But they haven’t been obliging students to undertake their (expensive) learning via Zoom.
That is my point - not that universities should top up their income in the vacs, but that if a lecture space is deemed safe for a corporate event, it is safe for student use.
And for somebody living and working (I assume ) in a university town to reduce the student population to
tens or thousands of people turning up in a city/town, partying till dawn night after night and mixing with the locals for months on end is, Alegrias both small minded and unworthy of you. .

Blossoming Sun 22-Aug-21 11:04:51

Universities have to follow government guidelines. UCLan are certainly preparing to resume teaching on campus at the start of the next academic year, and I should imagine this will be the case elsewhere too.

This ‘news story’ looks like lazy gutter press journalism to me. I’m sure it can’t be doing The Permanently Outraged’s blood pressure any good.

MawBe Sun 22-Aug-21 11:07:50

This ‘news story’ looks like lazy gutter press journalism to me. I’m sure it can’t be doing The Permanently Outraged’s blood pressure any good

I wonder who you are designating “ The Permanently Outraged” ?
My blood pressure is fine, thank you, even in the face of such a personally offensive post.

Polarbear2 Sun 22-Aug-21 11:25:36

And how exactly do you think they can raise money to keep going? It’s not new. It’s fine. It doesn’t interfere with students as the lecturers (or their assistants) hire all the space well 8n advance for lectures. The Unis fill the remaining space that’s all. They are businesses these days not ivory towers.

Alegrias1 Sun 22-Aug-21 11:34:35

And for somebody living and working (I assume ) in a university town to reduce the student population to tens or thousands of people turning up in a city/town, partying till dawn night after night and mixing with the locals for months on end is, Alegrias both small minded and unworthy of you.

Ah, the perils of assumptions.....

Don't work any more, I'm retired.
I live in a small town with no University.
I worked in Universities for several years, although not as long as DH.

Students don't turn up in an orderly manner and file politely into lecture rooms then disappear obediently into their individual rooms for the remainder of the day. The nearest Uni town to where I live is hoaching with students day and night, social distancing has been abandoned for months and the town was a local hotspot for cases on several occasions.

Speaking the truth is not small minded.

tippytipsy Sun 22-Aug-21 11:34:58

Academics and accountants don't mix well. That is why educational establishments have professors and lecturers as a separate entity to bursars and finance managers. The latter have to make money for the former to operate. Hard, unpopular decisions have to be taken.

MawBe Sun 22-Aug-21 11:41:18

I’m sorry Alegrias or some reason I thought you were connected with or living in St Andrews.
In my day the town was more likely to be hoaching with golfers or American tourists.
It was however a derogatory and unfortunate depiction of all undergraduates.

Alegrias1 Sun 22-Aug-21 11:47:32

St Andrews is indeed the closest town to where I live. StA Uni is not where I worked.

It was Lammas Fair last week, you couldn't move for tourists and locals enjoying the rides. Few Americans this year.

Friends who live in StA don't go into the town centre when the students are there during term time (semester?) because it's too busy. I've yet to meet an undergraduate who didn't want to enjoy the life of the town in which they have chosen to study, StA, Oxford, or any other.

grannysyb Sun 22-Aug-21 13:20:27

I used to live in York, can't say that I noticed that the city was any busier during term time despite there being two universities. There were always thousands of tourists!My DGD1 starts at York university next term following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather.

MawBe Sun 22-Aug-21 13:21:25

Never experienced the Lammas Fair as it was October by the time we students generally appeared.

maddyone Mon 23-Aug-21 10:34:51

My son went to Oxford to study Law, or Jurisprudence as they like to call it. Almost all of his teaching was done in very small groups of two or three students with one professor. He did attend lectures but it was rare. Given this method of teaching and learning there is less need for large halls/rooms. They probably think that distance learning and small group teaching is sufficient at this time, as it is their usual mode of teaching anyway.
I can’t say anything about Warwick as I don’t know anything about it.

Ro60 Mon 23-Aug-21 12:32:11

I used to live near Warwick University they have always hired out space for corporate & community events in the holidays and term time in a few different places on the campus.

A lot happened at the University Arts Centre which hosted a full programme of theatre, music & craft events that will have limited interest this year. Local schools had joint gathering there too.

I think it's a great use of unbooked space.